A Prayer for a Fresh Panting after Jesus
O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips. Ps. 63:1-5
Dear Lord Jesus, we come before you today wanting to be schooled afresh in pant-theology—asking for the gift panting after you, desiring you, wanting you more than anything or anyone, else in history or the cosmos. Renew and intensify our thirst for you. Make us so faint that unless you hydrate our hearts with the gospel, we will surely perish.
It’s a dangerous thing to no longer deeply crave fellowship with you, Jesus. It’s a deceptive thing to enjoy but no longer actually need you. It’s a deceitful thing to be satisfied with correct theology about you, without experiencing rich communion with you. It’s a demonic thing to find our ultimate satisfaction in anyone or anything else but you.
Lord Jesus, only your steadfast love is better than life, Jesus—only your contra-conditional, irrepressible affection for us. Nothing else will do. You have created a gospel-shaped vacuum in our hearts—a screaming empty place that fits only you. Forgive us when we try to cram human love or creature comforts, cultural acclaim or family reputation, or anything else into that place. Don’t let us be too easily satisfied. Give us redemptive discontent until our hearts rest again in you.
Lord Jesus, we’re asking this not just for ourselves as individuals, but for our churches as well. Forgive us when we get so organized, creative, and “right” that we no longer miss your presence. Is it really you we are worshiping, or are we just worshiping worship? Is it really you we are serving, or are we just serving ourselves as religious consumers? Are we really delighting in you, or just enjoying ourselves?
If you actually “left the house,” how long would it take before we knew the difference? In all honesty, Jesus, how much of what we do in our churches doesn’t require the Holy Spirit at all? Show us, convict us, forgive us, and change us.
Let us see and experience your power and glory in fresh ways, Lord Jesus. We want to lift our hearts, voices, hands, and whole lives to you, as a sacrifice of praise and as an expression of the joy that fills our hearts.
Who do we have in heaven but you, Lord Jesus? And being with you makes all other delights and desires seem as empty nothings. May the truth and grace of the gospel satisfy us as fat and rich food. So very Amen we pray, with longing and expectant hearts.